Global cyber war: Endpoints give hackers welcome gateways

Global cyber war: Endpoints give hackers welcome gateways

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) sent the third warning letter to domestic companies and authorities last week to warn of massive cyber attacks in the course of the war in Ukraine.

    • NATO partners register “increased aggressive scanning activities” for vulnerabilities
    • Routers, smart machines, production and all networked systems make it easier for hackers to gain access
    • IoT Inspector is to offer free security checks for KRITIS

“Within a few days, a serious war broke out in Europe. Any IT infrastructure now requires special protection against hacker attacks and the alert must be at the highest level. Critical infrastructures in particular are at risk,” warns Jan Wendenburg, CEO of IoT Inspector. His team has developed the largest European platform for automated firmware verification in the Internet of Things. The scans determined by NATO, which indicate hackers, include every gateway into an infrastructure to damage companies, authorities and institutions. Network components such as routers, IP cameras, IP telephones, system controls, industrial production plants and smart buildings often serve as gateways.

Critical infrastructures particularly affected

The automated process of IoT Inspector allows automated checking of device firmware within minutes. Following warnings from the BSI and other international security authorities, the company IoT Inspector offers critical infrastructures (KRITIS) a security check in order to be able to identify potentially dangerous IoT endpoints in just a few minutes. In this way, a decision can be made as quickly as possible as to whether an update can be carried out or whether the devices should be disconnected from the network. KRITIS operators can contact IoT Inspector directly to get this first aid quickly and unbureaucratically.

The manufacturers of the devices themselves are also called upon to close security gaps and fix them via firmware updates. During tests in the IoT Inspector laboratory, dangerous potential for successful hacker attacks was found in almost every device. The danger is greater than ever: on the day before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, numerous Distributed Denial of Service attacks, or DDoS for short, were recorded on Ukrainian critical infrastructures. As with previous DDoS attacks, so-called wipers were also found on Ukrainian computers. These programs are intended to delete data and render computers unusable – a typical weapon in cyberwar.

Scanning activity must be taken seriously

The BSI considers the increasing aggressive scanning activity in networks around the world that has been observed in recent days to be possible preparatory actions for later attacks. “The activities must be taken very seriously, and countermeasures must be taken as quickly as possible,” says Jan Wendenburg from IoT Inspector. According to the BSI, however, collateral damage outside of Ukraine cannot be ruled out. The authority considers computer worms such as WannaCry and NotPetya or targeted attacks on supply chains to attack basic services as well as energy, water and medical facilities as possible scenarios. A quick reaction is therefore necessary, according to the IT experts from the BSI and IoT Inspector. The faster risks are checked, the faster dangerous gaps can be closed by manufacturers, IT departments and authorities.

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